Category Archives: Poetry

Eye Level


We are crawling over rooftops
Sliding around aircon cans
Flightless beasts.

We drift with the low cloud
Skimming fingertips across gravelled roofs
Eyes fixed on the floor.

We are the thunderstorm, brewed
And stewed like tea
Too strong in a pot.

We are crickets, buzzing chirping
Singing in the grass
Of quiet greens.

We are floodwaters burst
Snowmelt swamping, stomping
Waves through streets.



This concludes the NaPoWriMo experiment.

Gentle sunlight
Spills dusty down
Across the mottled strand.
Beach combers
Lost by the river
Gingerly pick
Along the glistening mud.
I watch them pad
The tide of the Thames
Nipping coldly at their heels,
Through migraine green
Glass, partitioned
From the outside.
From somewhere else
The over-powering hum
And barbarous clank
Of a printer comes
Hewlett-Packard beige
To bring me my prize
Of information broken
Down by month
By sector
By and ugly grey streak,
Imperfections in the machine.
They find something
Out there on the shore
Of this inland sea
That is still a river,
Salty and dense.
Stooped to pick
Treasure from the black sand,
Held aloft
It is just a pebble
Its smooth darkness
By a sparkling grey streak
Imperfections in the world.
I fold in my hands the paper
And feel its smooth
Water-worn surface
Against my fingertips.

Life, blood


As an aside, I should say that this poem isn’t exactly truthful. I actually do love this city. In fact I don’t really like this poem, it’s clumsy and somewhat juvenile, but I wrote it and sometimes you have to live with the misfires, and the untruths.

This city has a filthy heart
(This city,
And any city
And all cities)
I do not love its arteries
Clogged with cars
Cholesterol choked
Smog-gloomed paths
To cold extremities
It rushes with blood
We carry oxygen
From its breathing spaces
We carry light from its towers
Cones piercing the clouds
To see the world.
I do not love this city
(This city
And any city
And all cities)
I love her
And she brought me here
To breathe for the city.


Rotten fence

I stand in my garden
Hammer raised
Every strike
Rains dry, rotten wood
Dust and mould
And fat black spiders
That stumble groggily
From the next blow.

The sun beats, in turn,
On my back
My neck slowly reddens
Like an apple ripening
To blisters.
The birds watch
As I dance in the garden
In my space
Shattering wood
Like silence.

Café culture


Café society spills
Uncomfortably onto England’s
Sun-sodden streets
Pavements tangled with feet
Bags, unneeded coats
Flung on shoulders
In an ecstasy of indecision
By the open door.

Cats, not feral
Not yet, but wild in the heat
Prowl these open buffets
And dogs, too,
Winding through legs
Ready to eat
Taking up scraps
Given without fight.

Women, shoulders bare
Hair loose
Sit by men reclining
In t-shirts unaccustomed
To the open air
Wardrobe ballast
Worn brazen to meet
At these metal tables.

Eyes squint
Shaded by hand
Or masked to light
With sunglasses, the logo
Of some smarter brand
A cheap tattoo
On their brittle arms.

All unselfconscious beauty
Burnished by sunlight
Come to sip at coffees
And argue over nothing
As if it matters
Everything matters,
Of course it does,
Until the cup empties.



A man kicks a tyre
Of a meanly-treated cab.
A swirl of blossom
Blush, cascades about him.
I lean on my hand
My tongue, unreasonably,

No-one notices.
He does not see the blossom
I do not feel my dry tongue
The trees shake
The traffic roars
And in the distance a radio
Sings in autotune
To someone
Who isn’t listening.